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Free Birth Control Leads to Decrease in Abortion Rate

Why Everyone Should Get on the Free Birth Control Bandwagon

Here's something you might expect: providing women free contraception leads to fewer unexpected pregnancies, and thus, a lower abortion rate. But in a new study published last week, researchers were actually surprised by how much the abortion rate dropped among women who were offered access to a range of free birth control methods.

Most women in the multiyear study, completed by Washington University in St. Louis, opted for long-lasting and low-maintenance methods like the IUD implant, which many women previously couldn't afford due to a relatively high upfront cost. About 75 percent of women in the study opted for the reliable IUD, which does not require women to remember to take the pill every day. Among the women and teens enrolled in the program, the abortion rate dropped by as much as 78 percent — from the national rate of 20 abortions per 1,000 women to 4.5 to 7.5 abortions per 1,000 women in the study.

Contraception, including the IUD, is now covered for free under Obamacare, and doing so should have something in it for everyone. In addition to helping with family planning, preventing unwanted pregnancy saves insurance companies money and also reduces the abortion rate, something that could appeal to pro-life Americans. "I would think if you were against abortions, you would be 100 percent for contraception access," said Dr. James T. Breeden, president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, following the study.

Yet, you can likely recall controversy surrounding the free birth control mandate in Obamacare. Religious leaders and conservative politicians, who are also pro-life, were the most outspoken against requiring employer-funded health insurance plans to cover birth control. It would be logical to assume that they'd support free birth control, since common sense (and now a study) dictates that it has the ability to cut the rate of unexpected pregnancy, and thus abortion. But it was clear from the contraception debate, which saw Rush Limbaugh calling Georgetown student Sandra Fluke a "slut" for advocating for birth control coverage under plans provided by religiously-sponsored universities, that for some, sexual politics is not just about abortion. It's also an opportunity to shame women for having sex in the first place, promote retro gender roles, and keep Americans politically divided along "pro-choice" and "pro-life" lines.

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Join The Conversation
steph1234 steph1234 4 years
Wow...How about this for a concept....for those that are able...get off your butts and work a job...whether flipping burgers at McDonalds, cleaning houses, gas station attendant, etc.....and pay for your own birth control! And here's another....exhibit some self control and keep your pants up and your legs closed! It's 'common sense'. Free birth control is not the answer to America's economic problems and the fact that the Obama campaign has created this false sense that women need more help is downright ridiculous...It should be insulting to any independent and self-sufficient woman in America! We don't NEED government to 'help' us with our birth control...we need LESS government intervention. Our society needs to learn self-control and self-sufficiency. And it's sad that everyone is falling for this lie he's feeding us!
BorgesMarquez BorgesMarquez 4 years
There are no words to describe how amazing this line from the article is " It would be logical to assume that they'd support free birth control, since common sense (and now a study) dictates that it has the ability to cut the rate of unexpected pregnancy, and thus abortion." LOVE IT booth HIGH-larious and TRUE!
jadenirvana jadenirvana 4 years
Free birth control should be a no-brainer at this point! We could keep so many more families out of poverty, women could have more education and career options, children will not grow up in unstable homes. Also no one WANTS to get an abortion, it's not a hobby, for god's sake. This study is right-on; I just hope people will listen to reason.
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